Friday roundup of Missouri politics

2012-12-07T06:00:00Z Friday roundup of Missouri politicsBY ELIZABETH CRISP • ecrisp@post-dispatch.com > 573-635-6178 stltoday.com

Sinquefield's last-minute money for Akin; Missouri Legislature appears on "worst" list, budget writers consider Medicaid expansion proposals and other items that you may have missed this week.

The Sunlight Foundation shed some light (pun intended) on Missouri campaign mega-donor Rex Sinquefield’s contributions to the Now or Never PAC and its support of Republican Todd Akin’s bid for U.S. Senate. Akin, who made national headlines for comments he made about “legitimate rape” and pregnancy, lost to Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill after the Republican establishment called on him to resign from the race and vowed not to support the controversial congressman.

The KC Star points out that Sinquefield gave the political action committee $800,000 on Nov 1. Now or Never then spent $800,000 on last-minute ads for Akin.

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MotherJones named Missouri as the 7th worst state Legislature in the country. It’s not surprising that a left-leaning publication would take issue with Missouri’s Republican-controlled General Assembly, but based on its explanation for the ranking, the magazine’s beef seems to be more specifically with the House.

Examples cited include the chamber’s passage of the so-called "birther bill," the induction of Rush Limbaugh into the Hall of Famous Missourians, Rep. Shane Schoeller’s failed absentee voter bill and the effort to make it illegal for anyone to enforce the Affordable Care Act in the state.

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Missouri lawmakers who are key to the Legislature’s budget-writing process say they want to hear Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s plan for expanding medicaid.

While the GOP leadership has, by and large, said that an expansion of the health care program that serves poor Missourians will not happen, Missourinet reports that some are at least open to discussion.

Accordingto Missourinet’s report: Senate Budget Committee Chair Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia says there are too many unknowns to outright reject the expansion proposal that’s part of the Affordable Care Act.

“I think as elected officials and accountable to everyone in the public, whether they are opposed to it or in support of it, I think there’s a bottom line threshold of having to be able to understand the actual costs, in terms of dollars, both to Missouri taxpayers now and Missouri taxpayers down the road,” Schaefer said.

Quick hits:

• Newly-elected state House members will wrap up their tour across the state today. This week they traveled to Kansas City, Columbia and St. Louis, with stops along the I-70 corridor. Meanwhile, the new state senators had orientation in Jeff City.

• The next Senate Majority Whip Brian Nieves of Washington went on a Twitter rant Thursday against “Tuff Guy Libs” (liberals who he said were harassing him online). In the tweets, Nieves said was sick in bed all day and having fun striking back at his opponents. Screengrab.

* The Springfield News-Leader reported on a meeting of the Joint Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect.

* The Beacon took a look at the final campaign finance reports of the election cycle.

Elizabeth Crisp covers Missouri politics and state government. Follow her on Twitter @elizabethcrisp

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